It depends. If you want quick one-button processing - probably not. For that, there are better plugins.
If you want to be in control over details and nuances of color and light when processing - luminosity masking is the best tool. This is what many famous landscape photographers use nowadays.
You can, and it's what I was doing for years myself. But times change. I started shooting more complex scenes, needed more blending. I also started printing my images and became more picky about details and quality. Features like freerange color masking you will not be able to do manually at all. Another big point is that ARCPanel is just many times faster than building masks manually, expecially on large 50Mpx files.
No, you buy ARCPanel once and get all future updates for free. Forever.
It's fast, very easy to use and has a free trial. Also, ARCEnhance tab of the panel is free and keeps working even after the trial.
Luminosity masks can help with exposure blends and retouch in landscapes, color grading in street and portraits, and ARCEnhance offers Frequency Separation and Dodge&Burn that are used in any style of photography.
ARCPanel runs great on Adobe Photoshop Creative Cloud 2015.5 - 2019. Unfortunately, old versions of Photoshop are not supported. You can try running on manual Adobe Photoshop installations too, but I can not guarantee that panel will work 100%. And no, I won't be able to help if you have a pirated copy of Photoshop.
ARCPanel connects to your Adobe Photoshop CC serial number and will just work everywhere, where your Photoshop works. You can read more about activation in installation instructions.
ARCPanel is much easier to use and get started with. This is the key difference. Also,
I was using actions for masks for many years. It was quite slow and not very comfortable. At some point got tired of actions inflexibility and decided to check some panels. I knew that luminosity masking isn't that complicated so I got very surprised when every panel I checked looked more like an old TV remote.
This is when I decided to build ARCPanel, focusing on making it fast and very easy to use.
You can always send me an email to email@example.com or direct message on Facebook Messenger.