Yeah, a lot of people like to be very destructive when working, and a lot of the time this isn't a problem, especially since we're mostly dealing with lowpoly meshes which are going to end up UV-mapped uniquely and skinned to bones anyway.
I rarely see people in game dev building up complex modifier stacks (hardly ever seen anyone with a stack above 3-4 modifiers to be honest!) but if you know how to leverage the right modifiers in the right place, you can really end up with a very interactive (and as a side-effect, easily animatable!) result which is ultimately non-destructive and very flexible.
For text, though, this may seem overkill in a lot of ways, since doing it in Photoshop with the NVidia filter or Crazybump is mostly going to be almost as flexible and fast (and won't require re-baking the normal-map!), and you rarely need this kind of detail on text anyway.
Still, it doesn't hurt to know how