Non-combat skills will be significant
The core four uses for non-combat skills presented by Obsidian are learning new things, traveling around the world, getting new items, and interacting with companions. Some examples given include the classic lockpicking and crafting, as well as some more novel concepts like being able to travel around the overworld with less chance of hostile encounters. The devs have also asserted that non-combat skills will not draw from the same pool of character points as combat ones, so you should never have to choose between being a better fighter or being better at something else. We’ve also been assured that players who use non-combat skills to bypass encounters will get the same amount of experience as those who choose to duke it out.