If Larian never intended for it to be used in combat(and I agree, they shouldn't) then why did they make it usable in combat?
It allways have ben usable in combat ... and it still have its uses in combat, it simply should not attack, thats it.
What other use does the hand's attack option have?
Well ... concidering DnD Tabletop rule for this spell:
You can use the hand to manipulate an object, open an unlocked door or container, stow or retrieve an item from an open container, or pour the contents out of a vial.
+ From Larian ... shove.
In my opinion, that is still pretty usefull spell in combat ...
Hey Rag, you can get to that chest by having Laezel jump over to it, or use the jump spell (or misty step). That's how I always get it.
The point of using Mage Hand was to retrieve it without spending two lvl 2 spellslots to misty step there anc back ... or without spending ability you can use once per rest, and wich you will need a little later (down by the idol).
I also don't agree with you here. Sure, a familiar or other summon is bound by magic to follow its masters command. But a familiar is not some lifeless thing. It's a spirit, with its own individuality. It's a person. When not given a direct command from its master, it is free to move and think and act within the bounds of the summoning spell. An animated body though would be more in lines with what you're suggesting.