I think you have it right. It looks like it also has an additive quality. There is the alpha channel which defines the shape of the column, a 'background' diffuse which gives volume to the column and then the moving bit added or multiplied or lerped in somehow.
I would love to see the textures they used but it's not possible to get them. An alternative would be, that the dev artist from Dice writes a comment. That would be awesome :)
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