I was talking to someone yesterday and I mentioned Rift, and he was like "isn't that game like wow?" in a detracting tone, and I was like "yes, it is. But, that's a good thing."
In terms of gameplay, Rift's structure is by no means unique or inventive. It plays, for lack of a better comparison, almost identically to the games that came before it -- EverQuest, World of Warcraft and the like -- and makes no effort to hide that fact. This certainly works against Rift when you're simply glancing at the game from between the shoulders of other people on the floor of a game show, or when you're browsing screenshots in a gallery somewhere. But don't let Rift's familiar structure fool you; where Rift differentiates itself from its predecessors is in its flexibility and polish.
Watching the videos that have been posted, it seemed the mechanisms of gameplay would be similar to games like wow; and that means, Rift developers are implementing what already works, a tried-and-true system. At the same time, this means, because they know what works, they can further improve it, and distinguish the game in that way.