Well, you're not entirely wrong. The augmentations for IVs were somewhat less effective, but much less dangerous to the augmentee. The armor/munitions made up the gap, I should think.I was always under the impression that S-IVs reach SII/III parity thanks to their GEN2 armor rather than their augmentations. But you might be right, and the differences in performance could be chalked up to the SII/SIII more limited gene pool.Zachu511 wrote:I disagree. Augmentation technology had advanced enough that survivability was greatly increased. Results on par, or nearly on par with S-IIs and S-IIIs in terms of pure augmentation. The gap in performance comes from genetic profile in candidates. S-II/III had smaller, more discrete genetic pools, tailored to better performance with augmentation. S-IVs were selected from a wider pool, resulting in decreased performance, with the trade-off of better, weapons, armor, and augmentation. The result is a near peer performance.
In terms of socialization, S-IVs lack some of the discipline of their S-II/III predecessors, but are also less prone to antisocial behaviors with "normal" humans. As all S-IVs are recruited from distinguished combat veterans of the Human-Covenant War, and subjected to a training regimen devised and overseen by surviving S-II/III personnel, later informed by new data from veteran S-IVs, I believe that S-IVs represent a potent force multiplier, particularly noting again, the higher numbers of them allowed by greater survivability in augmentation.To me, what is more interesting is the way many S-IV operators adopt social mannerisms and terminology consistent with surviving S-II/III personnel, often (but not always) independent of actual contact with said personnel, indicative, as you say, of the suffusion into the S-IV personnel of SPARTAN iconagraphy and legend at a cultural level for a generation of Humanity. That's a powerful sociocultural motivator to a generation quickly finding itself preparing for it's own great campaign.
I do agree that S-IV are far more personable than their predecessors, but I think that's a double edged sword. Sure, the SII/SIII training made for a single-minded, mission focused outlook that made interactions with non-Spartans difficult, but it also allowed for indoctrination that made Spartans from those programs almost unshakeably loyal to the UNSC. S-IV recruits, on the other hand, are grown adults that bring their pre-existing beliefs and biases. Most of the time, you'll get your Sarah Palmers or Jameson Lockes, but you are also likely to get your occassional......and that's a huge problem. The UNSC has never faced Inssurections backed up by supersoldiers. Still, I don't want to give the false impression that I dislike the S-IVs. I think they are the best option for a postwar UNSC, and I love how their more diverse background (ODSTs, Marines, Army, SII/SIII veteran involvement) makes for some great stories.Spoiler:Show
And you're 100% correct with the socialization aspect leading to massively increased elements of subversion/treachery within S-IVs. I wonder, what effect the lack of a Covenant type enemy, a perceived existential threat has on these divisions in S-IV mentality. And to be fair, while there are more instances of insubordination, etc. with IVs, there are also many more IVs in service - so the relative percentage is still quite low.