An option is that Hindustanis get the War Elephant instead of the Elephant Archer. I am neutral on this topic, but I am curious what would Aswaran Cataphracts do. Persians can also get Battle Elephants for compensation.
I think at this point taking the war elephant from the Persians would cause unnecessary controversy and backlash. I think there are more people who would be mad that it got taken away than those who are mad about their historical inaccuracy (or at least “historical plausibleness but not likeliness”
Tactically and strategically, War Elephants are not an often-used or necessary unit for the Persians. In addition, the “return” of War Elephants to the civilization of the Indian subcontinent is more in line with the historical fact that all elephants in Persia were purchased from India.
We already have Savar. Maybe just turn it into a non-hero unit and keep it regenerate so it can be as distinctive as a Berserk-like cavalry.
Honestly I don’t think it’s impossible, and frankly I would support it. But be attention please, there will be people who like the meme-like nature of the Persian war elephant and object to changing the status quo. Not that their feelings are wrong, it just means that there needs to be more communication about the idea.
Agree with everything you said, the last part too.
Let’s keep in mind that guardians of status quo exist in regards to all aspects and likewise the Definitive Edition, expansions or even balance changes (e.g. Kamandaran) could never have happened if devs were considerate of everyone.
Spirit of the LAw speculated Elephant archer will become regional units and produced in the archery range.
If this speculation is correct, it is highly likely for Indians to receive a new UU. But I wonder how would the elephant UU be. Another UU with ranged melee attack or really shift War elephant to Indians? Actually there is not much room to design another elephant UU.
Genuinely the Mahouts tech seems uninspired as there’s already Husbandry, but it’s not the only one.
E.g. Greek Fire of the Byzantines is nice but could be replaced with a more useful one - on water maps once I get up a castle and could research it I usually tech into FU Galleys already.
A few others come to mind like Cuman mercenaries (useful only for team games), Paper Money or Atheism.
Some almost feel gimmicky.
Now I don’t say replacing techs should disrupt balance. Though it would be nice to give old civs a more personalized touch.