The problem with allowing pushed rolls in combat, but trying to avoid them in calm and less dire situations, is that it highly favors Strength and Agility as most combat skills are connected to these attributes.
So the best way to build any spell caster will then be to pump these two attributes..
...but it might of course still be better than the alternative of allowing pushed rolls out of combat, as this instead leads to more trivialized survival and Willpower overflow.
I'm just giving the reasons for why you might want a house rule here.
Since I found Strength to generally already be a top attribute (as it gives carry capacity and hit points on top of skills) and Agility (as you are either ranged, or if melee you can push rolls like dodge just to gain Willpower), while Wits and Empathy are mostly good for their skills. I would rate Wits slightly better than Empathy. Also note that Empathy comes with a drawback, as an Empathy roll can be a hindrance. Note that I am not saying that no one should have high Empathy, Manipulation can likely be a party's most powerful skill, but a party where everyone goes max Strength and one maxes Empathy, will be better than one where everyone goes max Empathy and one maxes Strength.
So if you don't go as far as Reforged Power, then I would perhaps keep everything as it is, and limit out of combat skill pushes (and perhaps rolls), but then as a house rule when gaining XP after a session, also gain or loose an equal amount of Willpower up to some limit* set by Wits and Empathy. Then I think that would balance the power of these attributes a bit. A high Str+Agi lets you gain a lot of WP but loose them after a session, and a high Wits+Emp lets you start each session with more, but regain less during them.
If you need a thematic reason. A high Str+Agi character is perhaps more driven by rage, and Willpower decreases when they are out of action, while a high Wits+Emp character renews himself by finding inner peace and calm.
*What that limit should be I don't know.. (Wits+Emp)-3?