What I don't really like about feats, powers, call 'em what you will, is the way that they're all codified and defined now. What it does is disempowers the DM because no matter how much he's prepared, planned or read the rules, someone else has read them better and can turn around and say "Yeah, my character CAN do that, it says so here on page 456..."
and I have to agree with another poster Ryan
Daddy G.- Yeah, I see the trust issues in the way mechanics are set up.
Which got me to thinking , is the fear of the Bad DM (and admittedly there were a lot of them at least when I was a kid) driving a lot of recent D&D game design?
All the emphasis on meticulous game engineering, encounter design , treasure parcels, total class balance, over simple trust and imagination is there some fear that poor DM's will drive away the customer base.
Now in fairness, there is some merit to this thought.
Back when us Old Grogs were gaming, when D&D was young there was no Commercial Internet (AAD&D 2e was more than half over by then) and people seem to think there were a lot less ways to spend a lazy summer afternoon.
This isn't really true . Many of us had computer with modems and BBS or console games (I had an Atari 2600 actually) and there were Books and VCR's and TV and all that. Its not as if the toys weren't there and they were often just as engaging to us as the Internet and Facey-Space is to todays kids...
However, one big difference we did not face any competitors like WoW or EQ. It may be that there is a fear that bad DM's drive gamers to MMO's . That would explain some of the MMO like design of 4e (its kind of a board game to my eyes) and also the of the earlier Players Option/ 3X designs which resemble the popular computer game Fallout in some odd ways.
There is of course a marketing angle as well. Players buy more books than DM's. TSR (and it was TSR in those days) learned this lesson way back in the 90's with the Second Edition "Complete" books.
So between fear of DM's and the desire to sell more books, you get a concentrated effort to minimize the influence of the DM. In fact it would not in fact surprise me if 5e D&D was designed to be run DM less. Sure the DM will still be there (getting rid of that would drive away all the existing player base) but you won't need him/her/it...
Anyway, just some food for thought. My personal opinion is pretty much the same as Ryan's
I think that if a gamer can't trust his DM, he's playing with the wrong DM.
And as long as I can find players, I'll keep on playing the way I always have and all the treasure parcels and rigid design criteria can go play patty-cake with Orcus's Wand ;)