Getting Destroyed in Nightmare

Demon Hunter
Looking for advice on how to improve my character.

I've been using dual crossbows since the beginning and managed to solo my way through Normal difficulty (with the exception of Izual, which I called in a friend for...damn his 1 hit kill teleport attack).

I'm level 36. I use the following abilities:

Primary: Bola (Thunder for bosses, Volatile for other encounters)
Secondary: Rapid Fire (Fire Support)
1: Companion (Bat)
2: Vault (Rattling Roll)
3: Preperation (Battle Scars)
4: Rain of Vengeance (Dark Cloud)

Now, I could be wrong, but it seems like the dual xbows make Rapid Fire more powerful. I've also tried keeping dexterity heavy items in every slot. My DPS is 463.3 with no uniques.

My problem is health. The Templar is my prefered follower, since he can tank for me and heal, but the enemies NEVER attack him. They always go right for me instead and my health and armour are so low, I get 1-2 hit killed by stronger enemies. Even going to Act IV in normal still results in death more often than not and nightmare act I has drained me of all of my potions.

Any advice you guys have would be great. Somehow I think it's my build that's causing problems. I can't imagine the game is supposed to be this hard, or else Hardcore would be impossible.

[Edit]: After reading other people's advice, I've switched from Vault to SS (I like vault more but SS really does help, especially in public matches), equipped a 2h (biggest change, 1h should be patched so they have a use), and I also replaced Companion with Multishot. Another change I made was swapping out Bola for the first primary (can't rmeembr the name off the top of my head). I'm back to annihilating entire rooms with multishot bursts.

It ultimately came down to gear. The single biggest change was going from 1h to 2h. I could've kept my abilities the same and still been done fine.
get a 2h and quiver first, im level 38 with almost 1700 dps
i use hungering, impale, bat, SS, multishot spam
You need AoE and better gear. Try using chakram or elemental arrow with ball lightning. I also use caltrops with the 2 second immobilization rune instead of vault.
1700? Are you using a bunch of uniques or something?

I find the Bola works great for AoE with volatile explosive. I used to have Multishot and Chakram, but I didn't find either to be as good as Bola + Rain of Vengeance. Maybe I'll give them another shot.
18 dex gems and dex gear. i dont have much hp. just kill everything before it gets near. on act 3 nightmare. have died once
your dps should go up a few hundred just from a 2h and quiv
Really? Damn, why'd they advertise the dual xbows so much if they're so inferior?
you attack faster but hit for a ton less. rapid fire is channeled and on the harder difficulties you cant stand in one spot. try using SS. it drops aggro and will force them onto your templar
you need smoke screen.
You're going to need to get health items. Right now I am in Act 2 NM with my DH and I have 12k health. I was doing fine with like 8k but I managed to find some good items with both dex and vit so now I have excess health.

So ideally you want items with both vit and dex, but if you can't find them, balance between them until you do find both.

Socketed items are really useful. Look out for socketed items with good mods, and upgrade your jewler so you can at least get flawless gems. You can get a lot of vit and dex from gems. And always socket your weapons with Rubies. Base damage is better than dex.

Also, I recommend that you try out Caltrops in conjunction with Vault. It makes it so you don't need to use Vault as much. Another thing to try out is Smokescreen. Most DH players think it's the best skill ever.
Same thing is happening to me.

Any time I encounter a vortex or a teleporter or any stupid hard mob, I can avoid them until somehow they get a hit on me and I get one shotted. It's !@#$ing bull%^-*.
Your damage is quite low for level 36. Part of your survivability issues will simply be how long the enemies are alive to potentially hurt you.

I strongly support the suggestion that you grab a nice 2h Bow and pick up the Archery passive if you do not already have it.
Smokescreen and ball lightning are the gift of the universe for early NM.
Don't bother with dual weild. Get a solid 2 hander with a quiver. I don't know about future patches but right now 2 handers are better. Make sure with gear you focus on +dex and +vit stats (dex being slightly more important). Look out for items with sockets and socket them with the green and purple gems which add dex and vit (can't remember the names lol).
Your skills aren't great. I can't be bothered explaining builds but look up some builds that have proven to be effective in higher difficulties.
Hope this helps just remember a lot of it comes down to gear so if you're struggling just be patient and hold out until you find better gear.
Primary: Bola (Thunder for bosses, Volatile for other encounters)
Secondary: Rapid Fire (Fire Support)
1: Companion (Bat)
2: Vault (Rattling Roll)
3: Preperation (Battle Scars)
4: Rain of Vengeance (Dark Cloud)
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Primary: Not a fan of bola, it seems inaccurate to me. Hungering arrow with devouring arrow/+penetration does the most single target damage that a demon hunter can do. Some other skills come close but it's tops.

Secondary: Rapid fire = Death. There's really no place in the game for rapid fire after normal difficulty. If you stand still for long, you die. I recommend elemental arrow with frost rune or multi fire with lowered hatred.

Defensive skills:
1st offensive skill: smoke screen- if you aren't using this, it's no wonder you're dead. Using smoke screen passes all the agro onto your teammates and followers. From this point you can get some tasty multi kills using your aoe. This skill avoids aoe damage on the ground/lets you escape. Take it with the increased time rune.

2nd best defensive skill for demon hunter. Throw down caltrops in the path. Move back some, throw down another, move back some more, throw down another.

Now you've got 3 caltrops setup on the ground overlapping eachother at the edges. From this position you shoot the enemies with your elemental arrow and they'll come running into the first caltrop, you keep firing, come running into the second caltrop, you fire again and then move back and caltrop again, by this point they should be near dead but if not you need to repeat these steps to kite them.

Take it with the root rune.

3rd useful skill: Preparation with healing rune. You're going to run out of discipline by kiting, you need a way to get it back up.

Whatever else is up to you. I've been using impact knife to stun bosses.
Switched from Companion to Multishot and Vault to Smokescreen. I still prefer vault. As soon as SS wears off they all stop attacking the templar and rush me anyway.

Equipping a 2h weapon made all the difference. I can destroy anything solo now. I hope Blizzard changes this. !h should have a place in the game, but atm, they really don't. Either make 1h better when casting spells, add their stats together, or make them increase maximum hatred.
Ditch the dual wield, find a good weapon and quiver.
edit1: also instead of vault, use smokescreen with the speed boost rune and save preparation to use SS.
Smokescreen (lingering)
Preparation (Battle scar)

are two very useful skills I still use. Elemental Arrow with the ball lightning or frost arrow is pretty helpful too. Upgrade your weapon every 5-10 levels as it really helps up the DPS. Get items that give damage and/or dex+vit.
Nothing wrong with using dual crossbows, I personally use whatever comes best from drops or crafting. I had a great bow, got a higher damage hand crossbow and it worked even better, since it had better stats etc), and now came another hand crossbow and I weighed the stats of the hand crossbow vs the quiver and hand crossbow won. You really need to look at things what are available to you.
I am level 38 in Act 2 Nightmare.

I have DPS of 1371 and HP of 6170, and have found Nightmare to be much easier than expected.

I think you just need better gear.

Your DPS is way too low.

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