After turning off adblock in the firewall, firefox now works with no problem. In explorer, now the advertisement that loads before the game will load, but then it goes back to the solid grey game/chat window. Unfortunately, before I realized this was kongregate’s fault and not a general flash problem, I did a lot of uninstalling/reinstalling and re-configuring trying to get everything to work again, so the persisting IE problem could be self inflicted.
Note to Kongregate: Come on guys, this is just bad roll-out procedure. People expect their flash player to get corrupted or settings to get screwed up by auto-updates, but they don’t expect their favorite website to suddenly change something that would require modifications to their firewall software in order to load anything. Maybe in the future, a notice on the website when significant changes like this are made would be helpful. At least then we wouldn’t waste our time trying to fix our systems. On a more positive note, this is the only time my firewall adblock has ever successfully blocked anything – so hey, I’ve got that going for me. ;)