Here are a few ideas on how the Materia system could be improved, in a way that brings much of the awesomeness it has in FF7 and more!
 – Materia is separated into 5 types:
– Purple (Independent) – Stats – the current bonuses. There could also be percentage bonus Materia, if needed with a flat maximum like Food: +X% (max Y).
The flat bonus Materia “+5” would be best to compensate stats you might be lacking, and the percentage Materia “+5% (max 7)” ideal to maximize your best Stat(s).
– Green (Magic) – Magic
– Yellow (Command) – Skill
– Red (Summon) – Summon
– Blue (Support) – Utility & Linking with Green/Yellow/Red (see )
[1.1] – Green, Yellow, Red and Blue Materia do nothing on their own when melded. Instead, they can then be attached to Abilities.
Step 1 – You meld 4 Slots:
(Purple) +5 Str
(Green) Impact (adds AoE Splash to spell)
(Blue) HP Absorb (damage with attached skill partially absorbed as hp)
(Blue) Overcool (Cooldown on attached skill reduced by 1 sec when you use other skills)
Step 2 – Impact, Cooldown Recovery and HP Absorb become visible in the ability menu.
Step 3 – You attach Impact to Fire III, HP Absorb to Fire II and Overcool to Swiftcast.
[1.2] – You shouldn’t be able to stack more than 1 of the same Materia in a piece of equipment, getting a penalty when you do.
Example: Having 2 “+5 Str” Materia might result in a 20% penalty, ending up with “+8 Str” from the two combined Materia.
 – Materia Slots in gear can have Linked slots (pairs only)
[2.1] – By default, an ability can only be affected by 1 Materia, but by linking a Blue Materia with a Green/Yellow/Red Materia, they both affect the same ability.
So in the example above, if the Impact (Green) and HP Absorb (Blue) Materia are in linked slots, they can both attach to Fire III.
[2.2] – Some Blue/Support Materia may be Link-Only.
Example: Added Effect (Blue/Support) – Adds attached Ability’s effect to the Ability attached to Linked Green/Yellow/Red Materia.
(So you can attach Added Effect to Phlebotomize and Double Cut to True Thrust, and if Added Effect and Double Cut are linked, True Thrust will apply Phlebotomize’s bleed on top of benefitting from Double Cut.)
 – Items could provide “set” bonuses for melding specific combinations of Materia (order/position does not matter).
A chest piece with 4 Slots might give you:
+2 Int if you meld at least 1 Purple Materia
+2 Crit if you meld at least 1 Purple and 1 Blue
+2 Determination if you meld at least 1 Purple 1 Blue and 1 Green.
 – Materia could be allowed to level up, unlock additional effects, and produce a new level 1 Materia once it reaches max (Master) level.
Double Cut Materia (Yellow/Command) –
Level 1 (2x-Cut) – Every 5th use of the attached damaging ability will hit the target 2 times for 90% damage each (180% total).
Level 2 (3x-Cut) – Every 5th use of the attached damaging ability will hit the target 3 times for 80% each (240% total).
Level 3 (4x-Cut) – Every 5th use of the attached damaging ability will hit the target 4 times for 70% each (280% total).
Level 4 (Master) – A level 1 Double Cut Materia is born.