I wonder about this question myself. Not sure I qualify as a master but I can hold my own. I played this game with a lot of intensity for about 5 years. 5 years. That is a long time. The game is immense, and immensely successful. I laughed when I saw the movie on the CD that said that you better not plan to do much for six months after you started the game. There are still some challenges for me in this game at Sid level, and probably some GOTM type challenges as I see others who play them way more proficiently than I ever will. After 5 years all I have though are some great memories and experiences, and you can't live off that. My lifelong dream of wealth was put on hold to varying degrees for five years for this game. So now I pursue a game that can make me money, and that has dwindled my interest in the Civ III experience that I thoroughly enjoyed. I don't know what all the reasons are, but I suspect a general mastery of the game and a desire of the next challenge are primary reasons why many great players move on. The same characteristics that drives a player to success in Civ is driving that person to success on their next challenge, whatever that may be. From this community I learned many things about this game. As it was instrumental in my success with the game I was compelled to share my experiences in hopes that I could give back in some way. I was quite pleased that a couple of my articles made the war academy, and I appreciate the support of everyone along the way.