just like the title says.
the only way i can play empire now is to turn of my internet and turn on steam, which then gives me the offline mode option so i can play empire. i already updated to the latest patch yesterday or the day before (around march 25 or 26th).
just looked it up on google and found this, tested it, it works.
close steam. delete the file clientregistry.blob from the steam directory (for most people its in: c://program files/steam/)
then start steam. itl do an update and all is working