Getting Destroyed in Nightmare

Demon Hunter
Quite a few people recommending vault in here... I think for nightmare, it might be better than smoke screen or at least close to it, but for hell and above, smoke screen becomes 12 seconds of immunity against creeps that will twoshot you at best.
And yeah, like everyone else has said, go hit up the AH for cheap vitality stacked items and buy a decent 1h/quiver.
Smoke Screen and Preparation are good to try out if you are having trouble with survivability and you arent using them yet. I didnt need anything more than that for survival in nightmare.

If you need more than that you can use CC from Impale, Elemental arrow and Bola. However I wouldnt use CC for bosses. The bosses are by far the easiest part of this game and if you are using CC to beat them I would suggest a different strat.

From my personal experience I prefer single targeting bosses with rapid fire and using Impale for everything else.
get dex/vit gear. as much as you can. survivability is needed. Am in act 3 near the end and I have 11k HP and 1.2k~ dps.

I use hungering arrow with piercing shot (for mini bosses), impale with stun (1-2 hit kos unmobbed monsters) multi-shot with fire at will for clearing large groups, rain of vengeance with dark cloud for more damge (its free- no cost and good damage. it becomes single target damage when needed). Bat companion for hatred regen. No probs so far. might switch out hungering arrow to the one with multiple shots for faster regen on mobs though. edit: and smoke screen with discipline cost reduction, because its to clear aggro and doing it more often is better than longer.
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.

It's a couple of things.

1.) When selecting gear, aiming for dex/vita is going to carry you through more often than not (you'll be able to take a hit and deal good damage). I don't know what you're wearing now, so this is just general advice.

2.) If a weapon (bow or crossbow) says "Damage +X" on the detailed tip, it means it increases your DPS. Equip it. You don't do more damage with Hand Crossbows; the Damage number takes into account all your passive talents and equipped skills / spells in the calculation, so an increase is an increase. Weapons are also where you can skimp on good stats - DPS is king.

Edit: In fact, equip anything that the game says is a DPS increase, provided you're not sacrificing absurd amounts of hitpoints for very low damage increases. I have no problem losing 500-800 hp when it means my DPS goes from 5k to 8k.

3.) Your DPS sounds extremely low. Be aware that it's ok to sacrifice Vita for Dex if you're not being absolutely destroyed.

4.) If you're having a really rough time, abuse Smoke Screen (Lingering Fog rune) with Preparation (heal rune). When the poop hits the fan, it amounts to 12 seconds of continuous immunity. Smoke Screen itself is also too good to not use, because it breaks nearly every snare and disable in the game and makes you immune to nearly everything. The only thing I've found that I can't immune (all the way through NM and some of Hell) is the application of the Succubus curse. You can immune the damage, but not the curse. Making friends with Smoke Screen now will help you in Hell, where monsters can spawn with stupid modifiers and 2-3 shot you while running faster than you can kite.
"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. "

I have to disagree with this. Rapid Fire is the best skill in the Demon Hunter's arsenal for killing single, tough opponents, like uniques and Bosses. Belial on NM was a joke with it (I was actually with two other demon hunters for that and we all used rapid shot alot). The spell may be channelled, but it can be cancelled whenever you see a missile coming for you.

I'm hoping they get right into balance patching, because alot of the BH's abilities right now are awful. I thought Companion was helping quite a bit, but once I took it off, it became clear its hatred boost was paltry and no other runes are worthwhile on it. Sentry seems a touch weak too and spike traps are just a pain (although I can see a little potential there).

We also have ridiculously OP abilities, like Rain of Vengeance and Multishot. Multishot in particular is almost a must. The only possible replacement for it is Chakram. The only reason I wasn't using Multishot in my OP was that I wanted to avoid it since it seemed so broken. Having switched back to it, I've decided its worth being cheap for a bit :P.

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