So, I thought it would be a good idea to install new drivers for my ATI Radeon X1600 512MB, just like I had done dozens of times before, but it actually killed the game for me.
I made the mistake of turning up the graphics to high (should not have done) then I logged out just to see if maybe an update to the graphics card would make my invisible character appear, since that was the only thing wrong when I cranked up the video. Well, when I came back on, I think it patched a little bit, and now I am just stuck on a black screen -- I hear music and I see the version number in the lower left (which is weird) but nothing happens. It's almost like it's taking a LONG time to load the intro Artwork and/or Character selection.
I am going to try it one more time before I go to sleep.
ALAS, it just came back to life... that was weird indeed. No clue why I was stuck on a black screen twice after updating drivers... ODD... OH WELL! BACK TO PWNS!