I got an invite to beta3, and like most I was very excited. I have recently cancelled my subscription to WOW, so this was a very nice treat. Anyhow..
So I get the week off for weather, which means I can actually participate in the beta3 event. My first thought upon entering the game was how similar to WOW the UI was, which I thought was a little bland and uncreative. The same with the soul system. After a bit of time playing, I found I was already pretty accustomed to the UI and the souls because of the similarities of WOW. My feeling changed from unimpressed to relieved that I could spend my attention elsewhere.
Like most everyone else, there are a lot of things I like about Rifts at this stage. Probably what I like the most is the sheer variety of choices in the souls. But when I find myself out of the game world, and consider things, there is nothing that really stands out as "new and impressive".
Rifts has a lot of what is good about MMO's, but what concerns me is the seemingly lack of the "Wow!" factor. I like Rifts enough that I will probably donate my share of cash for the game and 3-6 months worth of a subscription to see the product at release. I also keep in mind that I have had just a handfull of days worth of time in game, and in my interest in soul varieties, I never even achieved a level of 18.
There is much to be seen, there is much I missed out on (wish I could have partied up for the IT instance) and I reserve my final judgement 3-6 months after release.... I just hope for a "Wow!" next time.