Final Fantasy XIV is introducing a new system that turns your old gear into boosts for your new gear. The Materia system is coming with patch 1.19, and a detailed preview has been added to the official site.
When the patch goes live, all equipment will have a "Spiritbond" value that rises from zero to 100% as you make use of the item. Once the value is at 100%, the item can be converted to materia that is subsequently attached to a new item, giving enhanced values to the new item. The system makes full use of combat, gathering, and crafting professions, and from the looks of the overview it will enable all three to make some significant gains in power.