I've been playing Rift the past 3 months. Before that, i would always said to anyone i wouldn't try. I guess just because i was being stuborn. But a friend of mine manage to convince me to play it...
So what can i say of Rift? Well i have to be frank, it feels much like World of Warcraft sometimes. You have the typical quests, you have the same type of crafting, same type of dungeons, gameplay feels the same, you need reputation to get things of vendors, pvp is based on battlegrounds (although there are also pvp servers - i'm in a pve one), same type of mounts (not flying yet), well anything you can remember from WoW it's there.
Except, there is more then in WoW. First off and the most notorious, is the rifts. These rifts consist of some sort of public quest, where everyone can gather for the same purpose, basically closing it. Each rift offers a set of objectives, divided in several phases. Complete one and the next one starts, until eventually it's closed. Rifts can be found anywhere in world. They will sometimes send off some sort of invasions, that will attack cities and npcs on their way to their objective. Either closing rifts or killing invasions will net you rewards, that you can use to get better gear. That's more or less the mechanic around rifts.
Besides rifts, there is also zone events. Basically, zone events are a larger scale rift event, that pops in one zone, and brings like a lot of more action. These zone events have specific objectives, like close a certain amount of rifts, stop a number of invasions, avoid wardstones of being destroyed, etc. Managed to get all the objectives complete, and the final boss will pop up. Usually to defeat it, requires some raid effort.
In this is what i liked in Rift. Besides all the regular WoW gameplay, these zone events, gives a nice distraction of the usual quest go here kill 10 rats. Sometimes, i would just forget all my quest, and would just go rift hunt. It's a refreshing change of pace from the constant quest grind.
When you finally reach maximum level, the mechanic of game works like WoW with the added zone events that you will want to do. Besides that, Trion implemented on last game update, a new Planar Attunement thing, that works much like an AA system of EQ2 or Age of Conan (i dont know the Age of Conan one). So even that you reached the final level 50, you will continue getting experience for this Planar Attunement. So far tier 1 of the Planar Attunement, hasnt proved much interesting but i'm hoping tier 2 and 3 will be better. There is also the so called Chronicles, which are 2 person dungeons, that are design for fresh level 50's.
Dungeons at 50, are all the dungeons you can come accross while levelling, but scaled to level 50 difficulty. There is also the expert and raid rifts, which are rifts of increased difficulty, being the expert rift made for a group of 5, much like a dungeon group, and rift raid set for a group of 20. Haven't raided the regular raid dungeons yet.
Pvp is rank based, get enough prestige, and you rank up, till i think rank 8 (maximum). Prestige can only be gain at level 50, while favour can be gain since you first do pvp.
Other thing that made me stay in game, is the fact that i happened to join a nice casual and friendly guild, and that is making my staying on Rift a bit more pleasant. I guess having a good guild makes a difference in any game.
Overall the game is not that innovative. But i'm having fun playing it. My brother sometimes says to me, "oh fun, you are playing WoW 2.0" - it's true what he says, but i'm enjoying it.