With regard to 4e, level is an important thing. So I did re-spec creatures/NPCs as the PCs gained levels and those potential opponents had not yet come into play.I see where you're going with this, but I'm not sure you've identified something that can expand beyond the two games in your example. DW does have the kind of ability scale up of D&D through spells and advanced moves that radically alters what PCs can do, and @pemerton has amply demonstrated over the years that his 4E game, despite similar growth in PC power is structured around PC interactions with setting elements; neither requires any Setting Solitaire prep.
One example is The Demon of the Red Grove: I wrote up multiple versions of these Feywild creatures, over multiple years, as the PCs gained levels and hadn't yet gone to the Feywild. I don't think this quite counts as "setting solitaire" in @Manbearcat's sense as it wasn't any sort of evolution of a "living world" - it was just making sure that when I got a chance to introduce that scenario, I would have the right tools in my "Monster Manual".
The story context of the scenario was established in a "no myth"-ish style: I can't remember all the details, but when I first thought about how Robin Laws's scenario might be adapted to 4e I don't think I had ideas about the trapped demons relationship to the Raven Queen and Lolth.
UPDATE: I just checked my 2010 notes - no mention of Lolth or the Raven Queen, just some dot points carrying over the core ideas of Laws's scenario. but some mechanical elements of the scenario statted up for high Heroic/low Paragon PCs. I ended up using this scenario for mid-Epic PCs in 2014. This is definitely prep, and definitely GM notes, but I don't think it's "setting solitaire".