So if a scenario writer describes a task as Nearly Impossible he or she is telling you something quite concrete about what the resistance would be in your game.
The key is to understand what purpose this encounter has in your narrative. If the fight with the guards is supposed to be tough then you make the resistance Hard for example.
That makes it easy for scenario writers to tell you something about the relative difficulty they expect from confronting an npc or overcoming an obstacle.
The pass/fail cycle allows you to set that resistance (hard, very hard etc) in the absence of other information i.e. your notes, feeling about what seems right, etc.
So the lack of stats is about a move to relative resistances not absolute ones, so as to indicate story intent. In other words if I say 'fighting with Harrek has a Nearly Impossible resistance', I'm likely indicating that such a strategy ought to fail.
Out of interest, we tend to use the pass/fail cycle as our driver for most resistances. We don't tend to have a 'story' prepped for a session, so we tend to be guided more heavily by the flow of events. The pass/fail cycle helps us track the rise and fall of fortune. It has been an enormously helpful tool in our games.
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