Crisis...avoided? Totally broken Zarya hotfixed in less than 24 hours.
Zarya on release was very weak. Then she was buffed into an absolutely monster with the highest win rate of any release hero ever. Now, she has been hot fixed and seems to be in a more normal place, albeit still extremely strong.
This was the win-rate of Zarya via Hotslogs.com before the most recent hotfix:
This number doesn't reflect the full sample size, but it is large enough to accurately show a trend. 71.9% is an absurdly high win-rate and, if you had the chance to try Zarya before this hotfix, this number shouldn't surprise you at all.
If you weren't aware of the original buffs, check them out here.
The tipping point
Turns out the most imbalanced thing about Zarya's latest buffs was the rate at which she lost energy. It was just too low. At 1.5 energy loss per second, it was extremely easy for Zarya to effectively stay at max energy at all stages of the game. It was so easy to win games, I found myself routinely taking out 2 at a time and winning the skirmishes.
This hot-fix increases the rate in which Zarya's energy decays to 2.5 per second, which causes noticeably faster decay rates. In my opinion, Zarya is still a very strong hero and I feel like some more nerfs are in order.
Did you miss some easy HL wins during the small but epic Zarya-is-busted phase? Don't feel too bad. By the end of the 2nd or 3rd hour of the buffs, Zarya was easily the first banned hero in nearly every HL game anyway.