Rift's closed beta will take the form of limited duration events, in which select players will be allowed to get their hands on the title and hopefully report bugs as faithful playtesters. You may recall that there are a few different pools of beta applicants that Trion is choosing from, up to and including the coveted VIP key-holders who will be invited to every beta event. If selected from the pools for testing, players will be notified a few days in advance with setup instructions.
The first beta event will be called "Rise of the Defiant" and will include the first 20 levels of content, the Defiant beginner zone and the land of Freemarch.
Trion's Scott Hartsman is celebrating the move from alpha to beta testing: "This is a momentous event for the entire Trion team, as well as the fans that have been following Rift since we first announced the game. We've created this deep, vibrant world that's just waiting to be populated with enthusiastic players, and our hope is that gamers will enjoy playing the game as much as we've enjoyed building it."
As we can attest, Rift is shaping up nicely so far. If you want to be considered for the closed beta events, head on over to Rift's website to apply.