I’ve always seen World of Warships random and ranked battles two completely different games, attributing it to random being rigged for maximum profit. But the reason is irrelevant. The fact matters, because it creates actionable advise: ignore your random statistics, because it’s irrelevant, just maximize XP gains and play ranked for challenge.
I kept looking for more evidence of this claim and here I have a fat one. I compared the random and 9th season T8 ship statistics. Not players, but the total ships. At first, we can see that players relatively use the same ships in ranked as in random:
Now let’s see how the ships perform in different battles:
Good correlation again. So the players use the same ships with the same performance, which clearly provides the same results:
Absolutely not! The correlation between random and ranked winrate of a ship is a mere 0.25. This cannot be explained any other way than the strategy of the games is very different. I tried to figure out how, by ranking the ships by ranked battle winrate and also by random winrate and calculating the difference. There are many ships with shocking differences, like the Hsienyang being #29 out of 35 in ranked battles, but #4 in random battles:
Unfortunately I don’t know enough of the ships to see any reason what makes them perform so differently in random and ranked battles, but they clearly do. Maybe someone smarter can figure out why. But that’s secondary. What really matters is that these game modes are fundamentally different and getting better in random doesn’t help you with getting better in ranked.