I think the difference is in terminology: Conflict vs. Combat.
There is conflict in combat, but not all conflict is combat...if that makes sense.
Die Pools can still be assembled to do various activities IF the need to assemble said die pool is necessary. If my street level vigilante, the Mocker, needs to go into his tool belt to pull out a lock pick and pick the lock to the warehouse where the badguys are, does it make sense to make him roll for it? If the goal is to get him in, then no. If the Watcher says "there is an alarm system that will alert the baddies, roll against the doom pool".
Mocker has no stealth ability explicitly on his datafile, but it is also possible that per his background narrative that he could sneak into where the hostages are being held IF it makes sense in the story line to do so. If no, no amount of powers and abilities should be used to derail the storyline...only to add to it.
Many of the powers and specialties can be used without the die rolling, or with die rolling conflict sans combat. The Mocker is a stand up comic in his secret ID, so if I want to know how his act went I may apply his Psych Mastery D10 as the effect to show how great he was, OR I may have to assemble a die pool including the Psych Mastery and roll against the Doom Pool if the Watcher says so. Still no combat.