Are you serious dude? How is materia unique? There is no other game that I've played, seen or read about that allows you to make use of your old gear in a way that FFXIV does. Most games after you're done with a piece of gear you either vendor it because it is soulbound and can't be traded or put it on the AH. This game gives the player more choices with what to do with that used gear than I've ever seen.
There are actually quite a few MMORPGs which let you break down equipment into upgrade materials.
It would be best for your argument if you also mention what MMOs you are talking about.
On a side note I know that lineage 2 would let you break down your equipment in crystals and those would let you upgrade your armor/weapon or build a new one etc.