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Obviously, after maxing Holy Fire and its synergies, the damage will be the same regardless of which skills I took in which order.

If I want to max the damage for my Holy Fire Paladin during play, however, what order should I take points in Holy Fire, Resist Fire, and Salvation (if at all before the end)? Essentially, I want to maximize my damage at each individual level in order to stand the best chance against the minions of hell.

If the order for damage is different from the passive weapon damage it gives vs. the AoE aura damage, the damage on the weapon should be prioritized higher than the damage for the aura.

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Holy Fire damage is pretty underwhelming in general. The gain for each level of the skill is not % based, it is a fixed number. The synergies from Resist Fire and Salvation are 18% and 6% respectively.

Going level by level and determining which is better, an extra 18% or the base increase, here is what I came up with

enter image description here

So if the last column increases, you take Resist Fire, otherwise you take Holy Fire. Salvation is obviously last.

Then again, you're much better off moving on to Holy Shock before this point. Level 6 Holy Shock has the same average damage as Level 20 Holy Fire.

Source

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This isn't exactly correct. If you have 24 base damage (as you would with Holy Fire level 5), each 18% is going to increase damage by 4.32. At some point, the additional 4 damage from leveling Holy Fire will give more than 4.32 total additional damage that you would get from another level in Resist Fire. If you have 5 in Holy Fire and 1 in Resist Fire, you will have 28.32 damage. If you take 1 more in Resist Fire, you will have 32.64 damage, but if you take 1 more in Holy Fire, you will have 33.04 damage. You need to go back and forth, but it's not direct alternation. –  StrixVaria Apr 30 '12 at 21:49
    
I believe holy shock is the more popular build. However the question applies fairly closely to both holy shock and holy fire. –  Resorath Apr 30 '12 at 22:01
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Do you really want me to do the math again with average damage instead of minimum damage? With 5 points in Holy Fire and 3 points in Resist Fire, you have an average damage of 30+54% = 46.2. If you take 1 more point in Holy Fire, you increase your base damage by 4. 34+54% = 52.36. Alternatively, if you take another point in Resist fire, 30+72% = 51.6. At this point, taking Holy Fire increases your damage more than Resist Fire, invalidating your claim. –  StrixVaria Apr 30 '12 at 22:02

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