The game is not in beta, and likely won't be for another year.
There are a few playable features that may be available BEFORE Alpha. Yes, we are not even at alpha stage yet.
A soul a character slot. A spark of life is a single character's lifespan. You can either create two concurrent characters, or you can use one for a lifespan, then play as your character's heir. OR you can create an entirely new one at that point as well.
The packages that say "expedition" access will have 3 months of early-release time, which is set apart so that the players can set up the world. This is when kingdoms establish and regulate themselves and laws and when settlement will generally be established, as well as the economy. I believe at LEAST 1 month of this will also have PvP turned off, in order to help fuel the building of society.
After those 3 months, the game will officially release to the public, and anyone can play at that point.