Just created my account today. Logged on for the first time and when I tried to put in my avatar name is just stays on "verifying Avatar Name." I've tried different races and names but it seems to just stay on this loading screen no matter how long I wait.
Did you keep both the game and launcher open? i just tried to make a character and it worked fine, that is until I closed out the launcher, which is required to be active while you play.