I wish that the words “Compute” and “Hops” weren’t used in the same breath, though technically it’s true. We’ve had a heck of a time getting clear on differentiating compute from Rhino. What we’d like to say is “Compute is when you use Rhino as a web service to answer web requests coming from another computer (directly or indirectly), and in that case is licensed per core-hour. But if you’re running compute on the same computer as Rhino, and it’s Rhino asking the questions of compute, regular licensing works.” It turns out this is virtually impossible to detect or enforce, and so it’s a tough thing to communicate.
But, in short, Hops calls compute from a local instance, and so it uses a regular Rhino license. If you start calling compute on another computer, or you have another computer call compute, then licensing needs to be per core-hour.