An distro upgrade means: forget about this old release, and see this new one
You will not reinstall any system, so you don't have to worry about partitioning or things like that.
You just press a button, turn off and on again, and the new release will be running the next time (a bit more complex some times)
Of course that you can have issues after update your distro version, but that really depends on each case scenario. But you have us for troubleshooting :)
Other options that you have is, install the new distro in a new partition, so if it doesn't work you still have Ubuntu 12.10 working. Also, you can make a fresh installation, installing the new system from the scratch in the actual Ubuntu partition.
You choice what method use