I played as a DH for 4 1/2 hours, getting only to level 14, and it seemed nearly impossible to kill a group of 8-10 spiderlings, let alone anything big in numbers greater than 3. I have used a variety of AOE spells as well as single-target and damage-specific ones. I just cannot get any damage dealt. My weapon power is 14.7 and it is a one-handed crossbow that has a firing rate of 1.40. Can someone please help? I really want to play DH, just not if it's this hard.
14.7 is a little low. Try getting a 2h-bow/xbow with 19+ dps from the AH, with a decent quiver with at least +5 dex. I would also highly recommend you get some +dam rings (Sold by Radek the Fence in Act 1) and some +dex gear (although not really paramount at some early levels).
DH's are meant to be kiters, and we don't have the raw power for AoE like barbs in the early levels. But with decent gear you should be able to one shot most stuff that pops up in Act 1, and especially for the low health spiderlings.
Build your character with the following in mind:
- Dex (lots of it), this will increase your damage and your dodge chance
- Vit, there's no point dealing a lot of damage if you die a lot
- Collect gems that will increase your dex, vit, and weapon damage
- IAS is also important, more hits in less time
As for skills I found these to be indispensable:
- Vault, enables you to escape quickly; also a good and fast to to travel around the map
- Charam for crowd control, why limite yourself to just hitting one target when you can hit multiple targets at once
- Rain of Vengence (not sure about the exact name), CC
- AH is the place to get gears, stop wasting your gold on levelling up and gambling at the blacksmith. Sell your items and use the gold to buy/bid at the AH
- Gems that give dex, vit, and increase damage is extremely helpful
- Bind your hot keys (default: 1,2,3,4) to A,S,D,F and assign the Skill hotkey to "X" This way you don't have to reach up to get to those keys, the feel is more comfortable and keys are faster to access
- Elective mode. You can assign what ever skill you wish to what ever key you want by going to Options and select "Elective Mode". this will unrestrict Blizzard's default skill to key binding
I would say for normal difficulty I would just stack a bunch of Dexterity items. Dexterity is the main skill for DH, and thus results in the best damage scaling. After Normal, I would start stacking items with Dexterity AND Vitality. It will help a lot.
For tactics, DH And Wizards are supposed to be among the best classes for soloing any difficulty. Take advantage of the kiting mechanism, and for difficulties such as Hell/Inferno, if you come across a mob you can't touch (Yellow, blue, purple, etc), just kite them to a deserted area of the map that you wont travel, and let them kill you. Spawn at checkpoint, and continue on, ignoring the mob. Also, if you have to, you can leave the game, effectively resetting the mobs, thus you spawning the game with different mob types in that location.
For getting good items, I hate to say it, but Auction House. The Auction House is the fastest/surest way to get the items you need to succeed.