I had been playing Wing Diver wrong.
See, I first kept my thumb on the spacebar flying to my heart’s content for about five seconds before plummeting straight into the ground, with the plasma generator alarm blaring in my ears. What I should be doing is instead do elongated jumps across the map, perch myself above buildings and use the high ground, pounce on enemies and fly out.
Essentially, I need to play like a tarantula.
After I got used to playing as the Wing Diver, her movements are extremely liberating. I can dash across the map, fly between buildings, get the jump on an unaware bug and dash back into the safety of my comrades before the rest of his bug buddies can react.
I generally use the Thunder Bow and the Lance, both good for me to leap in close and deal a great amount of damage in an instant. I tried using Plasma Grenades and Ixions, but aiming those buggers are rather annoying while in flight.
Once I somewhat got the hang of playing as the Wing Diver, I had a lot of fun. Soaring upwards to take down bugs perched on top of buildings, pouncing on bugs from above like a hawk on a rabbit, and hopping around picking up drop crates like a hummingbird flitting among flowers, playing as a Wing Diver feels so much more free as compared to the Ranger, the Air Raider, or the Fencer.
Speaking of pickups, the health pickups and the Armor pickups are the most valuable things to a Wing Diver.
Given the Wing Diver’s low health, the health kits are basically what keeps me alive every game. I am still pretty bad at dodging damage, so I am rather dependent on them. And the Armor pickups are what makes sure that I can last just a bit longer the next round. Still, Wing Divers are inherently more fragile. They gain less maximum health per Armor pickup (0.53 more HP per pickup for Fencers, 0.424 for Rangers and Air Raiders, and 0.212 for Wing Divers) and started off with less maximum health than the rest. Essentially, the Wing Divers are as brittle as a glass straw.
However, the point of playing as a Wing Diver is to not get hit. You can fly. You are quick. And you are the gnat that the giant insects are trying so desperately to swat and failed. And unlike normal gnats, you are lethal. It’s the thrill of flying along the edge of the knife, barely dodging the attacks of the giant bugs as you pick them off. It is a dance in three dimensions, moving back and forth, following the bugs’ movements and attacking them when an opening shows up.
That is, until I overexerted myself and ran my plasma generator dry. Then I’ll be grounded, scurrying on the ground like a rat trying to avoid enemy attacks while waiting for my plasma generator to recharge.
Playing as a Wing Diver is really fun. As long as you keep an eye on your plasma generator, there isn’t much that can keep you down. Even the Jet armor in the spin-off game EDF: Insect Armageddon can’t match it, as it feels sluggish in comparison with the Wing Diver. Maybe there is a point about armour weighing down flyers after all.
But seriously, put on a Kevlar vest or something. Those can’t be that heavy.